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Audiocubes New Low Priced Turntables: Good Deal or Deal-usion?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
http://www.audiocubes.com/index.php?cPath=54_70

Audiocubes' recently added turntables are almost too good to be true--for someone curious about vinyl, but without access to a good dealer shop for cheap used turntables and something of a space problem (some of the good older players are large and heavy).

My question is, what is the reputation for any of these players? This q is probably more directed at the HeadFiers situated in Japan where these players have been in the market for a longer time. Are these tables good enough for someone to check out vinyl sound cheaply?

Thanks,
piano

List of players:
1. Aiwa PX-E860 *doesn't come with needle...*
2. Audio Technica AT-PL30
3. Denon DP-29F
4. Pioneer PL- J5000
5. Sony PS-V800
post #2 of 17
These are all entry level record players - cheap plastic belt drive units with cheap arms, cheap pickups and even cheaper sound. For something half-decent I'd suggest to look at least into a Project Debut.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
..so there really is no affordable (<$100) new turntable huh?

I've been trying to find the Pro-ject Debut II online in the US, but sumiko's website (the US distributor) seems to be perpetually down.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by PianoBlack
..so there really is no affordable (<$100) new turntable huh?

I've been trying to find the Pro-ject Debut II online in the US, but sumiko's website (the US distributor) seems to be perpetually down.
Hi PB,

For entry-level tables you should definitely look into the Rega P2 or P3 from UK. Many audiophiles swear by the Rega tables, and a good number of them (new and used) are often available at Audiogon. (www.audiogon.com). Good tables cost a little more, but the sound is easily superior than the selection available at Audiocubes....and not to mention Rega's relatively higher quality parts are better value for your money.

FYI, a while ago Sumiko has changed their URL to www.sumikoaudio.net; if you are still trying to access through their old URL, you will error out....

Good luck and happy listening,
redyolk
post #5 of 17
everyone seems to love the mmf turntables and they come in entry-level prices.. give them a try.
post #6 of 17
The cheap Japanese tables that I've seen are definitely POS. They will spin a record, but that's about it. Denon has made some decent tables, but they tend to cost much more, and IMO only the top Denon's are as good as the Music Hall MMF 2.1, which retails at $299 and is often found for less (I've also got a Denon DP52F, but prefer the Music Hall).

There are some good used tables on ebay or audiogon that can go for about $150, but it's strictly buyer beware. Your best bet for a used turntable is through a reputable dealer that carries used equipment, particularly if you don't have enough experience with tables to evaluate one yourself. If the bearing is bad, the table won't sound good, even though the record will still spin...
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by lini
These are all entry level record players - cheap plastic belt drive units with cheap arms, cheap pickups and even cheaper sound. For something half-decent I'd suggest to look at least into a Project Debut.
Lini is right on this one. A friend of mine has brought Pioneer PL-J5000. It looks funky and function quite well. But the construction is kind of average. It's all plastic and just doesn't give you the feel of Linn LP-12 or similar class product. I am no LP expert myself, so I won't comment on sound quality. These cheap LP players are manufactured for LP beginners, perhaps.
post #8 of 17
I am not trying to sound like an audio snob........

The vinyl sound requires the complete package

1) Good turntable
2) Good cartridge
3) Good preamp
4) Good interconnects
5) Good records and record care.

It is pretty expensive to experiment with. Plus you need a source of good vinyl. You can buy new vinyl in most genres, but they are pricey.

For the price you pay for all the above, you could get a higher quality CD source.
post #9 of 17
I second lini and redyolk's recommendations to either get a Rega P2 or P3 or one of the entry-level Pro-jects. I personally feel that the Pro-jects are better value for money than the Regas.

Although I've been listening to vinyl for quite some time (more than 15 years counting), I'm very satisfied with the performance of my Pro-ject 6.9, which I've used for the past 4 years. The best thing about it is that it is compatible with a wide range of cartridges and has 2 RCA phono outputs, which allow you to substitute your own ICs. In my experience, not too many lower-end turntables have this option.
post #10 of 17
hey, there are plenty of decent tables out there for under 100$. Just look for vintage AR turntables. They sound great, and come with arm and cart most of the time. I'd also look into micro-seiki's stuff. I usually spend about that much just on a cartridge though.

You might want to re-evaluate your budget though...

Do you already have a collection of vinyl?

Seriously though, the cheapest way to get into real analog sound is the music hall MMF-5.
post #11 of 17
Any of the tables on the audiocubes site is bound to disappoint you and turn you off to vinyl.I would try used a Musichall table.this table in it's standard form will sound better than all but the very best digital sources played through the same equipment.Analog does not have to be expensive.Every audiophile/music lover should have a table.cleaning products do not have to be expensive either.I promise you,a great analog front end can be done for $500.00.
post #12 of 17
Question: do you need a preamp? Or can you connect a table straight into a headphone amp? Sorry if this sounds sort of stupid.
post #13 of 17
Andrzejpw, you need a phono preamp if you want to plug a turntable into a headphone amp. Depending on the cartridge used, the output voltage ranges from low to really really low. You can get an ok preamp for around £40, and if you're in the states, i think Radio Shack do a cheap one, referred to lovingly as the 'Little Rat'. Oh, and if you think good headphone amps are pricey... well, I've nearly spent £400 ($600) on a second hand Michell Delphini, and that's a bargain price! (£900 new, eek!) Had to sell my CD player to get it, too, but it's soooo worth it!

Oh, btw, just to throw in my tuppence, Project have a turntable with a built-in preamp at around £140, would be a good bet for a newbie, includes cartridge, and is dead easy to set up. Also, NAD 533 tables, which are basically Rega P2s are going for £150 at Richer Sounds, if anyone is interested.

Andrew
post #14 of 17
I've found the sound on the cheapest phono preamps to be poor. You need to get like a NAD or something for $100, or better, not one of the sub-$50 units. Otherwise, you've got a weak linke that makes the rest of the system a waste. Go for the small incremental cost of a better unit.

If you don't need portability, you also have the option of using any pre-90s receiver. Again, other than the bottom of the line stuff, you'll get a decent phono pre, and all the other features to boot (radio, switching facilities, pre and power amp). They can be had pretty cheaply since the non-audiophiles who were much of the receiver market are dumping them for multi-channel A/V systems.
post #15 of 17
The "Little Rat" is a surprisingly good unit at $25 (although there may be some sample variability. New units reportedly have a plastic case, mine is metal). It gives nothing away to the NAD PP-1, and is IMO much better than the Sumiko ProJect Phonobox in the low price market.
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